But that was just the tip of the iceberg, it seemed.
His hand went to the side of his face and felt what Faith was seeing. As he did the Spark inside of him flared and readied, the Immortal blood boiled with anger. Every instinct he had told him that if his magic didn't burn them alive that he should snap his jaws around their necks and break them into pieces. Kill an Immortal or four, right now. Right here. Drag their corpses back to whatever hole they crawled out of and show every Immortal that they have no right to him. No right to use him, whether it was to help or not. But he kept paused as the bear came over, Varlum ready. If this man did anything to him, he would show them what happened when a bear stepped into a dragons neck of the woods.
Yet instead, he showed the same bitterness Varlum did. Offered his help, offered his blessing - and shot a glare to the twins. Even offered to help his sister. In that moment, Varlum looked to Faith and took the stone, focusing on the curse leaving his body and entering the stone. But the look on his face was not relief or gratitude. It was hard to hide the snarl of an animal, a beast that had been backed into a corner. They were in no way subtle. Neither was Varlum as his jaw shook with the growl that left it. "Thank you, Faith - and I am sorry" he said with a look to her, though didn't say what he was sorry for yet. She would figure it out quickly. But first, Varlum looked to Ralaith. "You've done me the only justice that any Immortal has today. I take your blessing, gratefully, and I'll embark on that journey as soon as the time is ready, when we don't need to hold Uthaldria. I can't put into words what it means, but I will show you with actions. You have my word, and my vow. My life, as promised, will be yours."
Then came his reason for apologising, eyes meeting Pier and Pre. "I respect you for scalding Vri, I respect you for standing by what he did was evil. But little girl, or Ithecal - we are not puppets. Don't ever think to put your curse on me again unless you mean to keep it there. Don't ever think me, my soul, my body or any other part of me is yours to use" he said with as much control as he could. Varlum had learned restraint over Arcs, but it was not easy to fight a nature forged in violence. "You helped our war efforts today, somewhat. You offered help to Faith, you helped in the way I asked. But you are not a friend, or an ally, to me. I am not yours to lie to, to threaten, to curse or to weaponise. I am a servant of Faith Augustin, of Ethelynda and of Ralaith. Not you. Don't ever do to me today what Vri, you two and Aeva have done. Ever."
After those words, Varlum met Faith's eyes one more time, the apology likely making sense. After those words, he looked to Ralaith with a small nod. "If you don't mind, I'd rather not stay here any longer. I'm not going to be productive for anyone - and I imagine we have plenty to talk about in the near future. Please."